By: Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson’s adventures continue with a missing person (she has a real knack for finding them!), grim-reaper-dom, and of course, Reyes Farrow.
If you haven’t read books one and two, I highly recommend you do so before continuing with this review – there are spoilers from previous books.
Now that I’ve done my due diligence in warning you, let us continue!
Another woman is missing and this time, Charley knows the culprit immediately. All signs point to the husband (always the first suspect) and now Charley just has to prove it. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking and Charley must work quickly with the dynamic team – Cookie, Ubie, Rocket, Mr. Chow (as much as he is worth) etcetera – to solve the case.
Then there is the case of Reyes – an escaped convict forcibly bound to his human body by Charley, much to his aggravation. Charley does her best to stay out of his way but it’s hard to avoid Satan’s son when he appears every time Charley falls asleep. Challenge accepted! Charley does her best not to fall asleep throughout the entire novel. But boy, when she does…it’s hot! Reyes and Charley are like two magnets (sexual magnets) drawn to one another despite their anger. One of my favorite sexy shower scenes from book one is nearly replayed! I really enjoyed the constant risk and temptation of falling asleep and, of course, the consequences of dreaming (dreamy sigh).
Third Grave Dead Ahead also reveals more about Charley’s family, a glimpse into a more personal side of her life which I really appreciate. My only qualm from the first few books is connecting with Charley on a deeper, more personal level. Her first defense mechanism is deflecting with humor and this makes it hard for the reader (at least, for this reader) to connect with her as she is rarely vulnerable. The end of this book peaks with her most vulnerable moment in the series.
The same punny humor and amazing supporting characters from the first two books maintain the best of the Paranormal Romance genre – nothing has been lost as we continue to experience Charley’s world. I will be back for round four!
Romance: Cowabunga yes ma’am! The steamy scenes between Reyes and Charley are lived in both the dream world and real world. In this book, the newly added animosity between them increases the tease.
World Building: Everything I love about the first two books is back! Cookie and her adorable daughter who stumbles into Charley’s apartment to watch her cable, Rocket, the all-knowing ghost, and Ubie, her loving, sassy uncle. This novel adds to the character list with new ghosts, new clients, and even a few furry friends.
Writing: While Charley’s moments of vulnerability reveal more about her character, I feel like sometimes her actions didn’t support her beliefs. She is constantly jumping from case to case and even prioritizes a client case over personal matters. Maybe I’m not as professional as Charley in that sense, who knows. The bouncing plot can be jarring at some points but no more so than the other books. Overall, Charley’s puns and quips win the day.
Overall: When does this start becoming an obsession? Three books in four days can’t be healthy but, like Charley, I’m willing to lose some sleep. I recommend this entire series – just not in one week.